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Hot money deals, 2 November 2011

Which? experts round up the best money deals

What are Junior Isas

6 million children are eligible for the new Junior Isas

This week, we track down the best savings accounts and cash Isas (including fixed-term deals), as well as the leading credit card, loan and mortgage deals. We also help you to find out more about the new tax-free savings accounts for children, known as Junior Isas.

Best savings accounts

  • Instant access savings: Santander’s eSaver Issue 4 account offers the best instant-access deal at 3.1%. The rate includes a 2.6% bonus payable for a year.
  • One-year fixed-rate savings: Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank offer the top-paying 1-year fixed rate accounts at 3.6% on balances of at least £2,000.
  • Three-year fixed-rate savings: Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank offer the best 3-year fixed rate deals at 4.3%. Interest is paid monthly or yearly.
  • Five-year fixed rate savings: Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank offers the top-paying 5-year fixed rate accounts at 4.7%. Both accounts can be operated at a branch or via the internet.

The market’s best cash Isas

  • Instant access cash Isa: AA’s Internet Access Isa Issue 2 offers the best instant-access deal paying 3.05%. However, this account does not allow transfers-in from other providers. If you want to transfer in previous years’ funds, then Northern Rock and Principality’s e-Isa accounts are the best options paying 2.80%.
  • One-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Northern Rock offers the top 1-year fixed rate accounts at 3.35% on balances of at least £500.
  • Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Northern Rock and Post Office offer the best 3-year fixed rate accounts paying 4%. The Post Office account can be operated at a branch or by post.
  • Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Halifax’s Isa Saver account currently leads our 5-year fixed rate table paying 4.35%. The minimum investment is £500

Best credit cards for cashback

There are currently several good cashback deals on the market from Capital One, American Express and Santander:

  • The World MasterCard from Which? Recommended Provider Capital One offers the highest introductory cashback level on the market of 5% for the first 3 months (max £100). You then earn 0.5% on an annual spend of up to £5,999, 1% on amounts between £6,000 and £9,999 and 1.25% on amounts above £10,000. The card comes with a relatively high typical APR of 19.9%.
  • The Platinum Cashback Card from Which? Recommended Provider American Express pays 2.5% cashback for the first 3 months (max £100), followed by a standard cashback rate of 1.25% on all spend. The card comes with an annual fee of £25 a year, so is only suitable for big-spenders. If you spend in excess of £10,001 within a year you are eligible for 2.5% cashback during the anniversary month from when you took the card out.
  • New from Santander, the 123 Cashback MasterCard offers 1% cashback on shopping at selected supermarkets, 2% cashback on selected department stores and 3% cashback on selected major petrol stations. The card charges an annual £24 fee, so is only suitable if you use it a lot.

The cheapest unsecured personal loans

In our Best Rate tables, we show the lowest rates available for loans that aren’t exclusive to specific account holders or existing customers of banks or other institutions. 

  • For those borrowing £5,000 over three years: Sainsbury’s offers a representative rate of 7.9% APR for a £5,000 loan. Alternatively, at 8.6% – still highly competitive – borrowers can instead opt for two years of doubled Nectar points and a £25 gift card
  • For those borrowing £10,000 over five years: Sainsbury’s offers a rate of 6.20% – presently the highest rate on the market.

Today’s top mortgage deals

The best mortgage deal for you will depend on your own circumstances. Our unique mortgage finder tool takes account of all fees and charges to help you find a mortgage tailored to your needs.

If you’re moving house and looking for a fixed rate deal that lasts for 2 years, our best rates this week are:

  • Low loan-to-value: Chelsea BS offers a deal for 2.69%. It has a booking fee of £195 and you can overpay by up to 10% a year. It is only available directly from the lender.
  • High loan-to-value: Chelsea BS offers a similar deal to above (with a £195 fee and allowed overpayment of up to 10% a year), but at a rate of 4.39%.

For more details and also to see our full selection of fixed, discount and tracker deals, check out our mortgage Best Rate tables. 

And finally… new product launch

November 1 sees the launch of Junior Isas which are tax-free savings accounts available to children aged under 18. Parents, relatives and friends can invest up to the maximum of £3,600 in to a cash option, stocks & shares option or a combination of the both. The accounts are available to any child under 18 who is a UK residents and do not already have a Child Trust Fund (CTF). Like CTFs, withdrawals are not permitted until the child is 18.

For more details, check out our new Junior Isa guide.

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